Posts Tagged ‘Evan’

A Surprise Birthday Proposal!

Last Sunday, Evan and I celebrated our joint birthday (yes, we were born the same day, same year) with a pool party at my parents’ house. After blowing out the birthday candles and passing champagne around for a “birthday toast” Evan proposed in front of our friends and family! I couldn’t have been more surprised, excited, and thrilled! It has been a surreal and wonderful week and I can’t wait for us to get married!

wedding proposal

Big thanks to Jared Hillman for photographing the magic moment and to Evan for editing it together.

Now to start the wedding planning…

New Illustration: Pigeonholing

pigeonhole illustration

Click image for a larger view

I created this quick little illustration yesterday for a blog post Evan wrote ranting against pigeonholing editors. Check it out. It’s a good read. The post: “Opinion: The Absurdity of Pigeonholing Across Mediums.”

Recreating a Planet Terror Poster, Textures and All

Click to view a larger version of the comparison

Click to view a larger version of the comparison

Last week’s Photoshop class assignment was to recreate the look of a Planet Terror poster using our own images and textures. I chose a photo I took of Guiselle where she looks sort of scared, and painted on some eye makeup and made her lips a deeper red-orange so she looked like she was wearing lipstick. I couldn’t quite recreate the drippy mascara as well as I wanted, so I left it out. I also changed the color of her shirt from purple to green, and added a lot of highlights and shadows to make the lighting feel more like the original.

Click to view an even larger view of Guiselle's Planet Terror moment

Click to view an even larger view of Guiselle's Planet Terror moment

For the background, I blurred some crumpled paper to give the yellow some texture, and added scratches to the edges. I also added the paper folds, which was a pretty complicated process since I wanted to match the original colors in the folds, as well as the original feel, and I wasn’t working with the best photo of folds to begin with since my paper was just white and it has quite a lot of shadow on it.

I played with the text a bit, though just used the Title and production company logos from the original.

Click to view a larger version of Evan's texture moment

Click to view a larger version of Evan's texture moment

As this was texture week, we also had to create a bunch of original textures from photos/scans and use them in an image. I made of of Evan, using many textures, from tree bark to crumpled aluminum foil to ripped paper in the background, and dirt and more marked up tree bark on top of him to make him look grittier.

A Black Hawk Down Color Match

Last week’s other Photoshop assignment was to create a color match with a Black Hawk Down poster. We learned a few techniques for getting the colors to mesh and were tasked with creating an image and colorizing it.

The original poster we had to match

The original poster we had to match

I created another image of Evan since I felt like him looking away and sitting would lend to a similar feel to the poster. I used a landscape photo I took in Budapest and added a number of layers of cracks, dirt and noise to give it a grittier texture. Also, the color changed slightly when I saved Evan’s portrait for web, so it doesn’t look quite as close a match as it really is.

My color-matched portrait of Evan

My color-matched portrait of Evan

Playing With Halftone Photoshop Effects

One of the assignments in my Photoshop class last week was to create a series of halftone looks by using the regular and color halftone filters in creative ways. I may have gone a bit too abstract on some, but it was interesting playing around with an effect I hadn’t used before.

I used a portrait I created of Evan — I started playing around with it for the Editorial Portrait assignment. And added various halftone masks, layers and effects.

The original portrait I created by compositing Evan, a Goose and a background that I took in Cambridge while punting

The original portrait I created by compositing Evan, a Goose and a background that I took in Cambridge while punting

A very simple, even halftone pattern with no variation in size in 50% gray

A very simple, even halftone pattern with no variation in size in 50% gray -- you can barely see it in this small version, it's just giving the photo its softness

This is sort of an old-timey look, and it was a required matched look for the assignment

This is sort of an old-timey look, and it was a required matched look for the assignment

Here I deconstructed the color halftone into layers of red, green and blue and applied different opacities and effects like strokes and drop shadows

Here I deconstructed the color halftone into layers of red, green and blue and applied different opacities and effects like strokes and drop shadows

Then I went even more abstract, again pulling apart the color channels, but also using an alternate color scheme

Then I went even more abstract, again pulling apart the color channels, but also using an alternate color scheme

If I had used a less detailed image, I could have gotten much more dramatic effects or created a more Pop Art feel. I sort of wish I’d gone that way, but this is a learning process… and I do love how these change so dramatically as they increase or decrease in size.

The July Recap

Hanging with the Longfellows on our birthday

Hanging with the Longfellows on our birthday

How time does get away from me… this is the first time I’ve gone more than a month without posting to my blog. It’s not that I haven’t thought about it, either. It’s just that somewhere in my two week trip to Pittsburgh, preparations for Evan’s return home and other summer activities, I just didn’t post anything.

July was a good month, though. It started off, as I mentioned, with two weeks in Pittsburgh where Evan and I mostly worked during the day and ate dinner together at night. I set up shop in the hotel lobby most days, with my laptop and cell phone, and dealt with a few episodes of being locked out of the room (only once my fault for losing my key).

The only real standout day was our birthday, which we share, on July 8. After working for more than two weeks straight, Evan’s boss gave him the day off from work. We had a wonderfully relaxing day, playing frisbee in Schenley park, going to the Phipps Conservatory to wander through the beautiful greenery and fun Frabel glass sculptures, and wandered around Oakland for a while. We went to the top of the Cathedral of Knowledge to check out the view, and headed to the Legume Bistro for dinner. Dinner was a comedy of errors, with our waitress bringing a wrong dish (which Evan ate anyway), and a corked bottle of wine (which we brought and decided to replace from a bar across the street, since the restaurant doesn’t serve alcohol). But despite all the little mishaps, we had a fun time together, and went back to the hotel to share our mystery bottle of Champagne with some friends — we ultimately found out that it was from Evan’s brother, but we returned to our room to find a bottle of Champagne addressed to “Francia + Avan,” with no indication of who it was from. We were amused to have another year of excellent birthday misspellings, though.

The rest of the trip to Pittsburgh was uneventful, save for a few delicious dinners at Kaya, and a great Fourth of July fireworks display over the river.

A little more than a week after I returned to LA, Evan finally came home after four months away. We’ve been busy enjoying the sunshine, and catching up with family and friends. I’ve also been on a cooking spree, and I’ve been taking some more UCLA Extension design classes (more about that to come in upcoming posts).

Playing a Little Catchup: News and Reviews

It’s been a while since I’ve posted, so I figured I should do a quick catch-up for anyone who feels they’re missing out. Things have been busy over here in the past few weeks, so there’s plenty to catch up on.

One of Evan's first pictures of Pittsburgh

One of Evan's first pictures of Pittsburgh

The biggest change is that Evan took a job that will bring him to Pittsburgh for 3 months. This pales in comparison to leaving for Budapest nearly two years ago, back in the time when I didn’t even know exactly how long we’d be apart, but it’s still a bit sad for me and it will be an adjustment. He just left this morning — on a 6 a.m. flight — and I’m going to be heading out for my first visit April 22.

Evan also just launched a new site about assistant editing and Avid tips and tricks. It looks really professional and clean and already has tons of useful information.

Though this week was busy workwise and I’ve also started a design class at UCLA Extension, there were some fun events leading up to Evan’s departure, like playing with his cousin’s new King Charles Cavalier puppies (so adorable!), seeing a movie and going out to eat. Here are some of the highlights.

villageidiotWe went to The Village Idiot twice. Once to check it out before deciding to have Evan’ going away shindig there (I’d been there, he hadn’t), and the second time was for his party. This gastropub, which is unusual for LA, offers interesting dishes — I had a beet and horseradish greens salad, acorn squash risotto and ginger bread budding with Guinness gelato (amazingly delicious and different) — a nice wine and beer list, and a fun atmosphere. The wallpaper in the back rooms is covered in stags, and as we found out, it gets quite crowded on a Friday night, so if you want to enjoy your food, have dinner there earlier in the week.

The goodbye party was a nice gathering of lots of friends. It was tough to get to talk to everyone and the room was realy bustling, but we were there until closing time, enjoying the company and the beer.

We also went to eat at the Gardens of Taxco, which we’ve been meaning to try out for months. This Mexican restaurant is quite the experience. With no menus — just a choice of meats and veggies for your five-course meal read off by an animated, showboaty waiter — you’re surprised at every step along the way of your dinner. And it just makes ordering that much easier. We had quesadillas with delicious quacamole, soup, tacos and enchiladas, and Evan had carne asada while I had a chile relleno and a zucchini taco, along with rice and beans, of course. There were also the requisite chips and salsa, as well as some pickled vegetables. I was also serenaded by the guitar player, singing a very sweet song Evan requested.

We were surprised to find that the restaurant doesn’t serve hard alcohol, which meant no margaritas, but they make their own guava-wine margaritas. It wasn’t a perfect replacement, but they were pretty tasty — and they come by the liter! (We shared, of course).

For Evan’s last day in town, we went to the park and played some frisbee. I have very little talent when it comes to throwing or catching things, or sports in general, but I’ve been improving. Then we ran some errands and went to dinner. Evan didn’t want anything too stuffy, so we headed over to the Panini Cafe. As we were walking toward the restaurant, I had the strangest sense of deja vu, and then it hit me — this is the last place we ate before he left for Budapest. Strange that it was completely unintentional. When he was leaving for Budapest, we went for lunch with his grandparents; this time we went for dinner on our own. We like the place, with its relatively quick service and tasty sandwiches, salads and kabobs. I just couldn’t believe we were really back there again, in nearly the same situation.

I’ll try to post a bit more regularly, and I’m sure I’ll have plenty to talk about after my first trip to Pittsburgh and to Syracuse (we should be heading up there the weekend I’m in town). After 2 and a half years, I’ll finally see Evan’s hometown. I think it’s about time for that. And I’ll finally get to check out the ever-mysterious Wegman’s.

If you have any recommendations for things to do or places to eat in Pittsburgh, we’d love to hear them.